Warriors have a lot to play for as they face Bafana Bafana

FORMER Zimbabwe Warriors captains Edelbert Dinha and Kaitano Tembo have said that the Warriors will have a lot to play for when they take on South Africa’s Bafana Bafana during their Fifa World Cup qualifier at FNB Stadium on Thursday night (kickoff 9pm).

Zimbabwe have been eliminated from the race to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar next year but Dinha and Tembo said coach Norman Mapeza is preparing the team for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon in January and February.

“Afcon is around the corner in January and we need to go to Cameroon with a positive mind and attitude,” said former midfield strongman Dinha, who starred for Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates.

“We are using these remaining two World Cup qualifiers against Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia as preparation for Afcon. We understand that SA wants to qualify for the World Cup but we have also qualified for Afcon and we need to prepare for that tournament.

“We are going to Cameroon with the mission of doing well and trying to get out of the group stages. We are not coming here to SA on holiday, we are here for the coach to make sure that he keeps the spirit going among the players and work on formations as we look ahead to the 2022 Afcon.

“The coach’s job is not secured because he is on an interim basis and he wants people to understand that he is focused and he has what it takes to take the team to Afcon next year. It’s the Limpopo derby and there is a lot at stake for both countries.”

SuperSport United coach Tembo agreed that Mapeza is looking for a win.

“The coach was given about four games on a caretaker basis. They wanted to see how he does in the qualifiers and good results in these two matches against Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia may well see him get the job to take the team to Afcon.

“That is why these two games are important for him, to show that he is the right man for the job. He has also brought in some youngsters from the local league who must show what they can do and he is trying to build for the future.

“It is not about the World Cup any more, everyone is playing for their places in the Afcon squad. You must also remember that there are not going to be many friendly games to prepare before Afcon and these two games are being used as preparation.

“There are players who are based in Zambia and in Zimbabwe in this team who will be looking to impress and maybe get contracts in the PSL. It is also about bragging rights.” – TimesLIVE

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